Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

July 23, 2013

Program puts those in need in new homes

Corsicana — Billy Ransom, 84, lived in the 1956 house that his grandfather built for $250. The old homestead on East Fourth Avenue had leaks and the foundation has shifted so badly that the refrigerator leaned against one wall.

Now, his home is level and secure with a brick exterior and new appliances and central air and heat thanks to a state grant that allows the City of Corsicana to demolish older houses and build new ones. On Monday, the city council visited eight of the new homes, doing symbolic ribbon cuttings, saying a prayer with the homeowners and posing for photos. The 2010 grants built 11 homes. Three are still under construction.

On the other side of town, Stella Jones has finally moved into her new home, next door to that of Grace Gunnells, her sister. Grace’s house on South 14th Street was one of the first houses built with the state grants, five years earlier. Stella had applied for the program at the same time as her sister, but she’d fallen behind in her taxes so she didn’t get approved until she caught up. They house the city tore down had problems from top to bottom, she said.

“It’s a big difference from where I was,” she said. “To be in here and have space and not have to be afraid I’m going to go through the floors. I had to tiptoe through the house before.”

The houses are typically three bedroom, about 1,066 square feet, with brick exteriors and new appliances, central air and heat, and insulation in the attic space. They cost between $70,000 and $80,000 to build, according to builder Don D’Amico. The Celina-based contractor has been involved with HOME grant projects for about a decade in different cities.

“Your tax money is being put to good use,” he said.

William and Mary Holloway have lived on their corner on West 12th for 24 years, but things got so bad in their old house that they finally had to abandon it two years ago.

“It leaked in all the rooms, and it was cold in the winter because all we had was electric heaters,” Mary explained. “We’re not used to central air and heat.”

Mattie Brown, 86, lived in her house on East Eighth for decades, until the rain falling through the roof had dissolved the walls inside, leaving nothing but bare studs. The flooring had mostly fallen out, so the ground was the floor. During the daytime, she lived there with her grandchildren, for whom she was baby-sitting. At night, she was typically alone in a house lit by one bare light bulb that hung from a wire through the rotting frame that held up the roof.

Now, she has a new brick house, tight and dry, clean and neat, with soft colors on the walls and carpet on the floors. The bathroom is handicapped accessible, and the bedrooms cool despite the summer heat.

Asked what her favorite part of the new house is she replied that “all the parts are good.”

Jesse Reagor recalled that it rained inside her house on North 32nd Street when it rained outside.

“This was a miracle,” she said of her new house. “I’ve been miracles happen to other people. I never thought it would happen to me.”

The city has participated in several HOME grant rounds in the past, and is currently looking to build another 11 homes with the latest grant money. Residents must own their own home, be on a limited budget, and be caught up on all their property taxes.


Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email:


Text Only
Latest News
  • Candelario Garcia Jr. (main) Honoring a hero

    Since March of this year, the family of Candelario Garcia Jr. has been so proud of him, they could burst.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • County Budget Commissioners start budget process

    The Navarro County Commissioner’s Court held its first budget workshop Wednesday, the first of a dozen or more over the next month or so.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23-14 pianos main.jpg Public pianos invite players

    Corsicana has always been a musical town, with emphasis on country and western, rock and roll, bluegrass and Gospel, but now the parks and recreation department is moving towards bringing music to the masses in a different way. They’re going to put pianos downtown, on the sidewalks for anyone to play at random.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Navarro County 4-H Club holds event

    Texas A&M AgriLife Extention will hold Summer Exploration Days at the Navarro County Expo on Tuesday, July 29 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    July 22, 2014

  • New date for IPL Job Fair announced

    Tarrant Regional Water District IPL (integrated pipe line) Project will hold a Job Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 at The Cook Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Making voting easier

    A new county-wide voting system would let voters cast a ballot at any polling place on election day, eliminating the need to drive to a specific precinct to vote.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aaron Tidwell Tidwell tapped for top Mildred High post

    A baseball coach at heart, about a year ago Aaron Tidwell began to seriously focus on education administration. He just didn’t think an opportunity would present itself so soon. Mildred Independent School District board members approved the 31-year-old Corsicana native as the high school’s new principal Monday night.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCIW treasure Mantle worthy: Oil City presented with Texas Treasure Business Award

    Maybe Oil City Iron Works is worth double the treasure. After all, the local icon honored Monday with a state award for employers in business for 50 years has actually been around for 128.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-22-14 meth raid.jpg Five arrested in meth raid

    The Corsicana Police Department executed a raid on an alleged meth house Saturday afternoon, and it was done in about 45 minutes, all but the paperwork.
    “That part is on-going, reports and follow-up,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton on Monday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perry orders 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry says he's deploying as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border after growing tied of "lip service" from the federal government.

    July 21, 2014

AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Twitter Updates